HO CHI MINH CITY, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Several Vietnamese banks have planned to establish consumer finance arms to gain a bigger share of a local market that is expected to annually grow 29 percent to some 44 billion U.S. dollars by 2020, Vietnam News Agency reported Wednesday.
Orient Commercial Bank has planned to either establish a wholly-owned subsidiary with charter capital of 500 billion Vietnamese dong (22 million U.S. dollars) or acquire at least 70 percent in an existing finance company this year.
Asia Commercial Bank wants to set up a finance company with charter capital of 500 billion Vietnamese dong (22 million U.S. dollars). In February, Southeast Asia Commercial Bank acquired Posts and Telecommunications Finance Company for 710 billion Vietnamese dong (nearly 31.3 million U.S. dollars).
After closing deals to buy finance companies, several banks have quickly looked for foreign strategic partners.
After acquiring a finance company in 2015, Techcombank sold it to South Korea's Lotte Card for 1.7 trillion Vietnamese dong (74.9 million U.S. dollars). HDBank sold 49 percent of its stake in HDFinance to Japan's Credit Saison.
An executive of Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Bank (SHB) told local newspaper Dau Tu Chung Khoan (Securities Investment) that after the bank was merged with Vinaconex-Viettel Finance Company and established SHB Finance, whose main business is consumer credit, many companies from Europe, the United States and Japan have shown interest in buying stakes in it.
Among consumer finance companies owned by lenders and not yet sold to foreign firms is VPBank's FE Credit. Last year, FE Credit accounted for 51 percent of VPBank's profit, the main reason why the bank is in no rush to sell it to a foreign firm.
Maritime Bank has also remained silent about looking for a foreign partner since acquiring Vietnam Textile and Garment Finance Joint Stock Company in 2015.
The consumer finance market is expected to boom since consumers are now used to it and realized its convenience, local experts said.
According to estimates by Vietnam's National Financial Supervisory Commission, consumer lending surged 65 percent last year, up from 50.2 percent in 2016.
The ratio of consumer credit to total outstanding loans in the country's banking system was estimated at 18 percent last year, up from 12.3 percent in 2016.